Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Trendy Wednesday - Boys and Girls Club of America

In case you missed last week's Trendy Wednesday, I gave up shopping for Lent.  So, I thought I'd take this opportunity to switch the focus of my Wednesday post from fashion to philanthropy.  I'm sure you have all heard of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.  What an amazing resource for a community the B&G Club is!  They provide children an opportunity to experience after-school programs that they otherwise wouldn't have the possibility of attending.  Their mission is to "enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens."  They have national programs that impact all aspects of a child's life including "education, the environment, health, the arts, careers, alcohol/drug and pregnancy prevention, gang prevention, leadership development and athletics."  Check out their website to learn more about their programs and about how you can find a Boys and Girls Club in your area.

In my second year of membership in the Junior Service League of Beaufort, we had the opportunity to volunteer every Thursday at the Boys and Girls Club in their arts and crafts room.  There couldn't have been an opportunity more suited to my interests.  I love working with children, and I LOVE arts and crafts!  I spent several Thursdays in the arts and craft room there and each one was special.  However, one stands out to me.  I had been working in the room for about a half hour and spending time with a beautiful and sweet 1st grade girl who was hearing impaired.  She was so kind and such a bright star, but I couldn't help but feel how lonely she must feel in a room of people who struggle to communicate with her.  And in walked my friend Elizabeth.  She is a teacher, which you could tell by her easy way with children and amazingly creative project ideas.  Elizabeth noticed my new little friend and upon recognizing she was deaf, Elizabeth smiled brightly and started signing to her.  In the matter of a moment, I saw her come alive.  Her smile was wider, her eyes were brighter.  She was just like everyone else.  I imagine Elizabeth became her hero that day.  And I think she became mine too.  It was just one of those moments when you see pure joy and happiness in a child.  I was there volunteering thinking I was spending my time impacting someone's life when, in fact, they were impacting mine.  I think about that little girl every time I pass by the Boys and Girls Club.  I wonder how she's doing and what she's painting, but the one thing I never wonder is whether she will forget that day with Elizabeth.  I know she will always remember it, as will I.   


  1. I love the boys and girls club. Every year we do a donation to this org as a lot of my kiddos from school attend the local boys and girls club after school. What a neat experience for you and carrying out our motto
    of " Do good"

  2. Such a great organization. It's so true that you go to volunteer, thinking you are helping others. And while we do help others, we also are changed through the volunteering experience!

  3. Giving up shopping for Lent!? Girl, I commend you. I wish I could do this but it's kind of impossible seeing as though my upcoming wedding is DIY :-)

    Kudos for volunteering, I too am involved with B & you a purpose.

  4. Love it-you know very special in my heart!

  5. Jen! You are so sweet! I also remember how special that day was and I am so glad we got to share it. I am so lucky to have a friend with such a kind heart!



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